Deals, steals, and news from author Michelle Isenhoff.

I think most of you know I'm not a Chinese philosopher. In fact, all of my books are written from a Christian worldview, even if they aren't religious. But part of the magic of being a storyteller is the ability to grab inspiration anywhere and make it work!

Wu Xing is an ancient and fascinating way of explaining the interactions and relationships found in the world, dating to at least 500 BC. It is based on Five Elements--wood, fire, water, metal, and earth--that are believed to be foundational to the workings the universe. It's sort of a yin-yang thing, the push and pull of elements constantly set against one another and also driving each other.

I grabbed up this philosophy and integrated it into my Mountain Trilogy, as both a cultural backdrop in this Asian prehistory and as the basis of a legend that figures prominently in the plot. I'll let my character Li-Min explain Wu Xing a little further...

“Even today the gifts of Mutan [God] are in harmony all around us. Rain falls down to water the earth and the forest and to flood the great Chin-Yazi. Fire consumes the forest but gives way to rain and river. The earth produces metal, fire melts it, and in its turn, metal chops the tree and cleaves the earth. All things work in submission and in authority to one another, and in that unity lies the greatest power of the world.”

But it's up to his grandson Song to find out how to wield that power to destroy Ju-Long, the Ancient Terror who brought great evil to mankind soon after Earth's creation. If that sounds a little familiar, you're not mistaken. But the biblical Creation Story (well, a fictionalized, Asian, prehistoric version of it anyway) and Wu Xing actually work together really well here! Curious? Book one, Song of the Mountain, is always FREE. (It also placed as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review book awards and was reader-nominated for the 2013 Cybils Award.)

I'll leave you with the prologue below...

Long ago…

 …after the first age of men perished in a rush of mud and water, after ice twisted the face of the earth, when wise men first thought to put history on parchment, an old man sat at the eastern edge of the world. A boy knelt beside him, listening to the old man’s rhyme and shivering in the heat of a blazing fire.

If you listen carefully, you might still hear the echo of that ancient whisper:

Mud and mire shall birth a tree;
A sprout shall grow of ancient seed.
The five unite to break the one;
The curse of man shall be undone.
But brothers rise ere dragon’s bane;
The last shall smite the first again.

Before you go, be sure to check out the books and promos featured below. They're always free or bargain priced. I generally bounce between speculative and historical fiction (the main genres I write in), and sometimes some fantasy, middle grade, or a bit of romance, just to keep things interesting. 

Happy reading!


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Michelle Isenhoff

A former teacher and longtime homeschooler, MICHELLE ISENHOFF writes for children and adults. Her work has been reader-nominated for a Cybils Award, the Great Michigan Read, and the Maine Student Book Award. Michelle writes from Michigan where she bikes all summer and wears flip-flops all winter.